What Is an Insurance Waiver and Why Should I Use It?


ISO Customer Care | Dec 12, 2022 Insurance

International students attending college in the United States will have to get used to several new aspects of life in this foreign environment. Some of these include a new understanding of your geographical environment, public transportation, educational systems, and even more importantly, access to health resources. Some information will not be made expressly available and requires extra action to uncover their meaning, so let this article serve as insight into something most international students should be aware of - insurance waivers.

Waiving? I’m Not Familiar.

As a general term, to "waive" means to refuse something that is already owed to you as a right or privilege. Colleges have many items that can be waived:

However, did you know that you can also waive out of your school's health insurance plan? Schools set requirements on their insurance plans that meet state or nationwide policies for insurance coverage, which are usually shown on the school website.

I Understand Now, But Why Waive Anyway?

International students may face an entirely different experience from domestic students when entering college, as they will have to find ways to properly fund and maintain their stay in the U.S. With costs of tuition, school resources, transportation, and living expenses to worry about, international students may have to fend for themselves without the support of a family or state-sponsored insurance plan. Keep in mind that the average fee for a school insurance plan tends to be expensive, usually costing between $2,000 and $3,500 annually.

Plans like ISO Student Health Insurance are opportunities for international students to get the coverage to properly meet their budget's needs. We want to make sure students are informed about our insurance plans, and to further support our members, students can use guides like this to learn what to look for in one.

These plans also provide comprehensive coverage for illnesses and injuries at less than 50% of the cost of a school plan, which also includes coverage for mental health and COVID-19! Likewise, as fellow and former international students, we understand how daunting the process of enrolling in insurance is, so we are better able to assist with all questions and concerns you may have. With plans that satisfy both your health and wallet’s needs, it’s a win-win situation!

What Happens If I Decide to Waive?

Schools that have a sponsored insurance plan will likely have information on their websites related to waiver eligibility and recommendations for suitable alternative insurance plans. To coordinate your insurance waiver properly, you may have to contact someone at your international student office to understand which plans the school will accept.

You may also find specific dates of coverage that are required by your school for enrollment. Please keep in mind that you may also have to abide by a time-sensitive schedule to enroll in a plan before your school will either not accept your alternative insurance or charge an additional late fee for further submissions. The final date set by your school to submit an alternative health insurance plan is known as your waiver deadline.

While insurance can be challenging to understand, waiving out is a much simpler process, and can be done in four simple steps:

  1. Researching your plan (a how-to guide can be found here)
  2. Purchasing insurance coverage
  3. Getting your insurance information
  4. Gaining approval of your waiver from your school

ISO Student Health Insurance is an excellent option to waive your school plan with. We provide affordable and comprehensive coverage - For international students, by international students, at all stages of their college journey, even after they graduate. Waivers, if needed, are provided immediately after your insurance enrollment. For any questions or assistance during the process of plan selection, enrolling, or waiving, our multilingual customer care team is readily available to help via email, phone, or social media. If you're looking for an option that will keep you covered while sparing your wallet, enroll in an ISO plan today!

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About ISO Student Health Insurance

Founded in 1958, ISO prides itself on being the leader in providing international students with affordable insurance plans. Administered by former and current international students, we are able to assist our member with multilingual customer service in Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and more. ISO serves over 3,200 schools/colleges and more than 150,000 insured students every year.

For more information, please visit www.isoa.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn.

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